Sunday 30 July 2023



Three fairly recent Facsimile Editions for you to look out for, Crivvies, are X-Men #101, and The Incredible Hulk #s 180 & 181.  The latter two were reprinted a few years back, so now you've got a second chance if you missed them first time around, without paying inflated prices on eBay or on the collectors market.

I noticed that 180 has the 'Continued After Next Page...' lines before ads, whereas 181 doesn't, which is perplexing.  Why Marvel doesn't seem able to operate a consistent policy regarding this is beyond me.  My earlier facsimiles aren't at hand* for me to check if it was the same, but when they got around to reprinting #182, the 'Continued...' lines were present, as I can see from looking at the issue on my blog.

Anyway, Make Mine Marvel!

*Update: Couldn't help myself - dug out my previous facsimiles of #s 180-182 from a few years back and checked.  181 also has no 'Continued...' lines (though 180 & 182 do), so the new copy is just a straight reprint of it, aside from the current printing date in the indicia.

Friday 28 July 2023

Spiritual Matters - The GHOST Of STAN 'The Man' LEE Presents - Part Two: The INVINCIBLE IRON MAN...


Hi gang, Stan Lee yakkin' with you again as promised last post.  Up here in the Heavenly Hills, I'm having a great time, but I miss my ol' Soapbox days, which is why I occasionally 'inhabit' my Mego 8 inch action figure so that I can communicate with all you Marvel Maniacs.  This time round we'll take a look at the Invincible Iron Man, as well as the fallibility of human memory (especially yours truly's).

At one time, both Jack Kirby and Don Heck seemed to think that Jack did the layouts for the pages of the very first Iron Man story.  It later turned out they were both mistaken and that Don had drawn Shellhead's origin story in TOS #39 all on his lonesome.  Don may've been confused by Jack pencilling Tony Stark's alter-ego's second (and fifth) appearance, which Don inked.

However, it's said that Jack designed the Iron suit as seen on the above cover, but I have a notion that covers were drawn after the contents (though they went to the printers weeks or months in advance), so if Jack designed the armour, perhaps he did it before producing the cover.  Just a guess of course, but that doesn't mean it ain't so.  (Doesn't mean it is either.  Hey, I like to be fair.)

Jack wasn't very consistent in drawing Stark's armour (especially the joints), and he gave him a cannon shell-shaped head with no chin.  However, Don had drawn the helmet with a chin when he illustrated the first strip and therefore tweaked Jack's pencils at the inking stage to reflect that.  Whoever designed the suit, it was Don's version that was the more impressive and 'realistic' looking one.

As with Thor, I supplied the plot, though I have no idea if I talked things over with Kirby before handing it to my brother Larry to do a full script for Don to follow.  Larry came up with the name of Tony Stark, avoiding the alliteration that I was prone to, which is why he wasn't called Tony TannerSamuel Stark, or Anthony Anderson.  Yep, there's no doubt about it, Tony Stark is a much better name for a millionaire playboy in the '60s.  Larry, ya did me proud.

Anyway, that's it for now.  Gotta dash for my monthly memory competition with Jolly Jack (yep, he's up here too) to see who misremembers the most from those early days of the Marvel Age of Comics.  It's usually a draw, 'cos we're both as bad as each other when it comes to recalling exactly how things happened.  We both did something right though, whoever did what, which is why these characters are still around in the 21st century.

'Nuff said!

Thursday 27 July 2023

The BEANO Reaches 85th Anniversary Milestone...

Copyright D.C. THOMSON & Co., Ltd

You'd have thought The Beano (I don't care that they've dropped the 'The', I'm still using it) would've learned to do without featuring 'celebrities', considering the potential scandals lying in wait for the future.  DCT really overuse this dreary approach and I think I'd be more inclined not to buy the comic because of celebrity overkill than I'd be persuaded to make a purchase.  (Only bought this one because of its historical significance.)

Anyway, The Beano has made it to 85 years of age, so congratulations, but I still miss the original Dennis and resent the cutesy doppelganger who seems to have supplanted him.  I haven't read it yet, don't know if I will, as a casual browse-through fails to enthuse me with any desire to do so.  Dennis isn't called a menace anymore and Fatty and Spotty were renamed a while back to Freddy and Scotty, apparently to diminish any possible influence on readers who might refer to other kids (in the real world) by those 'awful' appellations.

This tacit admission that comics might have the power to do such a thing surely demonstrates that those who once claimed comics couldn't possibly have any negative influence on kids' behaviour were wrong, doesn't it?  Otherwise why bother?  The editor even boasts of the periodical now being 'woke', as if it's a good thing.  I'd settle for it being funny, but that remains to be seen - if I ever get around to reading it.

Anyway, Happy Birthday Beano!

(Incidentally, contrary to some TV news reports, The Beano isn't the oldest comic in the world - it's only the oldest British weekly comic in the world.  There's a difference.)

Wednesday 26 July 2023

Return To The '70s - The MIGHTY WORLD Of MARVEL Cover Gallery Omnibus... (Updated)


When The Mighty World Of Marvel #1 made its debut on September 30th 1972 (cover-dated the following week), it had newsprint paper covers the same as the interior pages.  67 issues later the covers went glossy (and the interior printing often went a bit murky), but for 66 glorious numbers, MWOM was a class act among British comics of the time.  Going from memory, #54 was the last to contain 40 pages (with no interior colour, unlike the earliest issues), and the comic consisted of only 32 pages until #67, when the page count was upped to 36 (and the price to 6p).

Here then, for those who were there at the time, are all 66 pre-glossy covered issues for you to salivate over and remember your childhood and teenage years.  Hard to believe it all started 51 years ago as it seems to my mind to be nowhere near as long as that - more like 51 weeks, truth be told.  I love looking at these covers, but much as I enjoy doing so, I can't help but think "There goes my boyhood!" as I drink in their captivating colours and dynamic displays of action and adventure.  Is it the same for you?  Then share your reminiscences with your fellow Crivvies!

And below, the first three glossy covered issues of MWOM - a new era.

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